Foster Program

fosterhomeOur Foster Provider Program is an integral part of our mission to Respect the Dog. Without fosters, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. Secondhand Mutts rescues dogs of all shapes, sizes, breeds, ages, temperaments and energy levels so we are sure to find one that will fit your situation.

Our Foster Provider Workshop is for those interested in fostering only (we realize that you may fall in love and adopt but that’s not your intention right now), not fostering-to-adopt (trying out a dog to adopt). Please use our Adoption Application if you are ultimately interested in adopting a dog. Most of our dogs are eligible to trial-adopt prior to adoption to insure they are matched with a forever family. We will process your adoption application and if your home is the best match we will give you the opportunity to trial adopt for a short period of time (usually two-weeks).

Please continue to read about our foster program and if you find you need more information, or if you have additional questions regarding fostering, please contact us at

The Benefits of Fostering

Dogs who are fostered through Secondhand Mutts are offered excellent benefits to help with the fostering experience. Most foster dogs are welcome to join in daycare at The Mutt Hut, have access to grooming at the Mutt Hutt Grooming Salon, and have access to overnight care at our facility whenever needed (with notice of course). Foster parents are not required to attend events (but are welcome to do so) because Secondhand Mutts has a whole team of chaperones that can escort your foster dog whenever necessary. Our seasoned and experienced foster volunteers are available to assist in the adjustments that are faced when a new dog enters the home. Secondhand Mutts provides crates, food, training, and all other necessities including collars, leashes and heartworm and flea preventives. We also always cover 100% of the dog’s medical expenses while in your care.

The Foster Provider Commitment


Cheryl and Captain Crunchy were best of friends for four months while she nursed him back to health and prepared him for his forever home.

Whether you work full time, don’t work at all, have a fenced in yard, or live in an apartment etc., we can find a dog for you to foster! We do require that anyone who is interested in becoming a foster parent or family attend one of our quarterly Foster Program Workshops and then complete the foster application once you are sure our program is a match for your lifestyle.

We are currently looking for individual and family foster providers with a little time and love to give to the deserving dogs in our program. Whether you are thinking about providing a weekend foster getaway for a dog living at The Mutt Hutt or if you want to commit fully to our dogs and see the dog through to its’ forever home, Secondhand Mutts can use your help!

The love and support our dogs receive in foster care makes all the difference. Though our Secondhand Mutts enjoy the luxury of a cage-free daycare environment at The Mutt Hutt, nothing can replace a real home. We hope you will consider fostering for our organization.

We have three levels our foster providers can provide our dogs:

Level One: Constant and Committed
The ‘Constant and Committed’ foster provider is someone who is available for the long haul. Whether the dog you foster is sick, needs special attention, is an easy to place dog or a dog who may require a long-term commitment, we can count on you. Most of the ‘Constant and Committed’ foster providers will keep their foster dog until it is adopted and even help out with meet and greets to interview and consult with applicants hoping to adopt and remain the after-hours contact if the dog moves into a trial adopt home. Constant and Committed foster providers are not required to chaperone their foster dog to medical appointments or adoption events but we certainly don’t turn away a committed foster provider who knows our dog the best.

Level Two: Weekender
The ‘Weekender’ foster provider is available for short-term fostering (usually weekends or a few days in a row around your work schedule) and available to help out on short notice for a brief period of time. The ‘Weekender’ foster providers are extremely important to us as they give some of our dogs much-needed breaks from constant boarding days and nights at The Mutt Hutt. They also provide relief to our committed foster parents who may have scheduled time away from home and prefer the dog resides in a home environment when boarding at The Mutt Hutt is not an option for some reason.

Level Three: In-a-Pinch
The ‘In-a-Pinch’ foster providers are those who are willing and able to take a dog in immediately with very little notice and keep the dog for up to 72-hours (hopefully a shorter time period) while we scour through our foster provider list to find a suitable foster home match to move the dog. In-a-Pinch providers are essential to us because we sometimes are faced with requests from shelters or owners surrendering their dogs and in the event we do not have quarantine space or there is no boarding available at The Mutt Hutt, we can count on our fosters to help in a pinch. In most cases there is little notice but lots of reward for helping out a dog who may otherwise be euthanized.

Foster Provider Program Workshop

If you are new to fostering we require new foster parents (and anyone else in the household where the dog will be staying) to attend one of our quarterly workshops. At the two-hour workshop you will learn all about fostering:, the ups, the downs, the benefits, and when you can start on this exciting adventure. We will have a team of seasoned, experienced foster volunteers on hand to answer your questions and make sure your lifestyle is a fit for our foster care program.

Continue below if you are interested in signing up for our next Foster Provider Workshop:
Saturday, April 29, 2017


Do not fill out the Foster Provider Program workshop request form if you are intending to adopt or trial adopt one of our dogs currently listed on our home page.

Foster Program Workshop Request

Foster Program Workshop Request



Our Adoptables Are
  • Socialized in a cage-free dog daycare environment
  • Dog-Friendly
  • Cat Tested (upon request)
  • Fostered in real homes
  • Spayed or Neutered
  • Temperament tested
  • Veterinary Health Checked
  • Fully Vaccinated
  • Distemper Vaccinated
  • Rabies Vaccinated
  • Bordetella Vaccinated
  • Heartworm Tested
  • Microchipped
  • Flea Preventative
  • Heartworm Preventative
  • Groomed prior to adoption

Services provided by
Gateway Animal Clinic

Events Tent Graphic


Meet-Our-Mutts in April: Rocky River


Saturday, April 1, 2017 19565 Detroit Road Rocky River, OH 44116 12:00 to 3:00 pm Join us for an afternoon of pet pampering at Pet People. Our volunteers will be chaperoning three lucky dogs to spend the afternoon with the customers and associates of Pet People.

Meet-Our-Mutts in April: Brecksville


Saturday, April 15, 2017             Creek View Commons 8249 Chippewa Road Brecksville, Ohio 44141 12:00 to 3:00 pm Join us for an afternoon of pet pampering at PetValu. Our volunteers will be chaperoning five lucky dogs to spend the afternoon with the customers and associates of PetValu.

Meet-Our-Mutts in April: Shaker Heights


Saturday, April 21, 2017 16675 Chagrin Blvd. Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120 12:00 to 3:00 pm Join us for an afternoon of pet pampering at PetValu. Our volunteers will be chaperoning five lucky dogs to spend the afternoon with the customers and associates of PetValu.


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